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Nov 24

Sony NEX-6 Review: Sony NEX-6 VS Sony NEX-7


Sitting between the high-end Sony NEX-7 and beginner-to-enthusiast level Sony NEX-5R, the 16.1 million pixel Sony NEX-6 is compact system camera aimed at DSLR and DSLT customers who are looking for high image quality in a much smaller body.

A couple of key features distinguish the Sony NEX-6 from the Sony NEX-5R below it. First up there’s a 2.359k dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) built in, offering an alternative to the 3-inch 921,600-dot LCD screen for composing and reviewing images.

The camera is also compatible with apps that can be downloaded from Sony’s PlayMemories camera apps service. This include apps such as Picture Effects, Remote Control and Direct Upload (to Facebook or PlayMemories Online). More apps will become available over time.

The NEX-6 has built-in DNLA-compliant Wi-Fi and on-camera apps. While the app collection is rather limited at announcement, Sony has made clear it plans to expand offerings in the near future. And the possibility of enhancing your camera’s current capabilities through user-friendly app downloads, as opposed to firmware updates is one that could be worth the wait. As it stands, you can can push images from the NEX-6 to an iOS or Android smartphone, or straight to Facebook (or Sony’s PlayMemories site) across a Wi-Fi network. You can also use your smartphone as a remote viewfinder/trigger.

Sony NEX-6 specification highlights

16.1MP CMOS sensor
2.3 million dot resolution OLED EVF
ISO 100-25600
Control dial
Dedicated Fn button
‘Quick Navi’ display
Multi interface hotshoe (supports standard contacts and proprietary connector)
Wi-Fi for connection via Wi-Fi networks or to smartphones
Proprietary in-camera apps
Built-in flash (GN 6)
Electronic First Curtain shutter
1080p 60p HD movies in AVCHD (50p on PAL region models)

Sony NEX-6 VS Sony NEX-7

There is precious little other than sensor size (16mp versus 24MP) and price to separate the NEX-6 from Sony’s flagship NEX-7. If you have no need for output beyond 16MP and are willing to trade the NEX-7’s Tri-Navi control interface and external mic socket for a mode dial, Wi-Fi connectivity and a Quick Navi menu, you can get the NEX-6 with a co-announced 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom for an attention-grabbing MSRP of $US 999. In discussions with us, Sony has acknowledged it expects the NEX-6 to have a direct impact on sales of the higher-priced NEX-7.

The NEX-6 is virtually indistinguishable from the NEX-7, being marginally taller only due to its protruding mode dial. It has more gently rounded edges along its top plate and lacks the metal construction of Sony’s flagship model, but is still a solid-feeling camera.

Both cameras incorporate the same 3 inch LCD and OLED EVF. Button layout is very similar, with differences only in the placement of the movie record button (which has been much-criticized on the NEX-7). The NEX-6 has two control dials (versus three on the NEX-7) and a mode dial. It also lacks an AF/MF switch. The NEX-6 is shown here with the included rubber eyepiece cup.

Along the top plate there is little meaningful distinction between the cameras other than the dial arrangement. Yet the small power zoom kit lens, which covers nearly the same focal length range as the older 18-55mm lens on the NEX-7, offers a much more compact package.

With a full price of around £769/AU$1,099/US$849.99 body-only or £899/AU$1,299/US$999.99 with the kit lens.

ePhotozine posted the full chart test pictures while the dutch Pixelmania (translation here) posted the full NEX-6 review and gets recommended by the reviewer team. There is also a camera test with the 16-50mm pancake lens test at Lesnumeriques (translation here). And also German reviewers are testing the Sony NEX-6 like at here). Now four Sony cameras are on the top 5 list at French readers may be happy to learn about the Sony deal described at Lemondedelaphoto.

Finally the Sony NEX-6 is hitting all worldwide stores (but not in US) and click those direct links to check out price and in Stock status: AmazonAdoramaBHphotoWex UKWex Germany Sonystore DEUKFRITESNLSEFICH and more links at Alphacameradeals.

Plenty of auctions are available on eBay (here on Slidoo).

Knowledge expansion:

  • 1. Records in up to 29 minutes segments.
  • 2. Attaching Sony A-mount lens requires LA-EA1 (note: Autofocus available with SSM and SAM series lenses when using LA-EA1) or LA-EA2 adaptors (sold separately).
  • 3. Requires compatible BRAVIA? HDTV and HDMI? cable sold separately.
  • 4. Requires an active 802.11 Wi-Fi network (802.11n recommended) or PlayMemories Mobile? app installed on compatible Android? or iOS device. PlayMemories camera apps require download with existing Sony Entertainment Network account. Download available in all countries/areas where Sony Entertainment Network is available.
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